The World Bank says it has engaged the Federal Government on the need to ensure that public funds are spent effectively and efficiently for the good of Nigerians.

The World Bank Country Director, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, disclosed this when he led a World Bank team on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Chaudhuri said the Washington-based bank’s focus was to work with the government at the Federal and State levels to transform the country, catalysing private investment and job creation, investing in children and creating opportunities for Nigeria’s youths and women.

Addressing the press shortly after his meeting with the minister, Chaudhuri said, “For Nigeria, we have been supporting a wide range of programmes, ranging from school projects, economic empowerment and energy for rural areas. We have a wide range of support, specifically, we discussed with the minister beyond financing, what we could do with ideas and experiences from other countries.

“In its critical role of budget and economic planning, budget function, we discussed with the minister how to ensure that public funds are spent as effective and efficiently for the common good of Nigerian people. We are not just financing; we hope we can provide ideas and some experience from other countries.”

He added, “The World Bank operates in about 120 countries of the world. So, part of our role is to share experiences. For instance, what works in Indonesia could work in Nigeria. That is what we hope to do here. Specifically, we spoke about Nigeria’s cash Programme, ongoing programmes implemented by the states, which the ministry is doing the coordination, not just for Federal Government but for sub-nationals.”

Responding, the minister thanked the World Bank for all the support it had been providing to the ministry within the wider government circle.

The minister explained that the engagement between the ministry and the World Bank were mainly in terms of blended development assistance projects with components of loans and grants from donors especially, the European Union.

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